Who Works in Community Services?

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1 Who Works in Community Services? A profile of Australian workforces in child protection, juvenile justice, disability services and general community services Bill Martin & Josh Healy August 2010 Report of research funded by the Community and Disability Services Ministers Advisory Council, directed by its Structural Issues in the Workforce Subcommittee

2 Table of Contents Who Works in Community Services?... i Executive Summary Introduction Building a Profile of the Community Services Workforce Defining the Community Services Workforce What Information to Collect? Collecting Data Developing a Sample Frame Developing Instruments The Survey of Community Services Offices or Outlets The Survey of Community Services Workers Estimating workforce numbers Child Protection Profile of the Child Protection Services Workforce Employment Child Protection Workers Occupations Child Protection Workers Employment Contracts Use of Agency, Contract, and Self Employed Staff Demographics of the Child Protection Workforce Child Protection Workers Hours of Work and Tenure Child Protection Workers Earnings and Multiple Job Holding A Profile of Child Protection Services Outlets Size of outlets Mix of Services Funding Sources and Conditions Use of Contract and Casual Staff Skills, Training and Preparation for Work Level of education and field of qualification Qualifications most relevant to the work Current study Skill utilisation and mismatch The Work Experience Recruitment and retention Job satisfaction Relationships in the workplace Autonomy and task discretion Meeting Labour Demand Vacancy rates How employees find jobs Difficulties filling vacancies Suitability of recent hires ii

3 3.6 Employment Preferences and Intentions Preferences for terms of employment Hours of work preferences Future career intentions Career Paths Career before current job Experience in current sector Juvenile Justice Profile of the Workforce Employment Juvenile Justice Occupations Juvenile Justice Workers Employment Contracts Use of Agency, Contract, and Self Employed Staff Demographics of the Juvenile Justice Workforce Juvenile Justice Workers Hours of Work and Tenure Juvenile Justice Workers Earnings and Multiple Job Holding A Profile of Juvenile Justice Service Outlets Size of outlets Mix of Services Funding Sources and Conditions Use of Contract and Casual Staff Skills, Training and Preparation for Work Level of education and field of qualification Qualifications most relevant to the work Current study Skill utilisation and mismatch The Work Experience Recruitment and retention Job satisfaction Relationships in the workplace Autonomy and task discretion Meeting Labour Demand Vacancy rates How employees find jobs Difficulties filling vacancies Suitability of recent hires Employment Preferences and Intentions Preferences for terms of employment Hours of work preferences Future career intentions Career Paths Career before current job Experience in current sector Disability Services Profile of the Workforce iii

4 5.1.1 Employment Disability Services Occupations Disability Service Workers Employment Contracts Use of Agency, Contract, and Self Employed Staff Demographics of the Disability Services Workforce Disability Service Workers Hours of Work and Tenure Disability Services Workers Earnings and Multiple Job Holding A Profile of Disability Service Outlets Size of outlets Mix of Services Funding Sources and Conditions Use of Contract and Casual Staff Skills, Training and Preparation for Work Level of education and field of qualification Qualifications most relevant to the work Current study Skill utilisation and mismatch The Work Experience Recruitment and retention Job satisfaction Relationships in the workplace Autonomy and task discretion Meeting Labour Demand Vacancy rates How employees find jobs Difficulties filling vacancies Suitability of recent hires Employment Preferences and Intentions Preferences for terms of employment Hours of work preferences Future career intentions Career Paths Career before current job Experience in current sector General Community Services Profile of the Workforce Employment General Community Services Occupations General Community Services Workers Employment Contracts Use of Agency, Contract, and Self Employed Staff Demographics of the General Community Services Workforce General Community Services Workers Hours of Work and Tenure General Community Services Workers Earnings and Multiple Job Holding A Profile of General Community Service Outlets Size of Outlets Mix of Services iv

5 6.2.3 Funding Sources and Conditions Use of Contract and Casual Staff Skills, Training and Preparation for Work Level of education and field of qualification Qualifications most relevant to the work Current study Skill utilisation and mismatch The Work Experience Recruitment and retention Job satisfaction Relationships in the workplace Autonomy and task discretion Meeting Labour Demand Vacancy rates How employees find jobs Difficulties filling vacancies Suitability of recent hires Employment Preferences and Intentions Preferences for terms of employment Hours of work preferences Future career intentions Career Paths Career before current job Experience in current sector Comparing Sectors The Logic of Comparisons Why Compare? Employers, Workplaces and Employment in Community Services Demographics Employment Preferences Skills The Work Experience Workforce Dynamics Key Workforce Issues References Appendix 1. Appendix 2. Appendix 3. Sample Outlet Questionnaire Sample Worker Questionnaire Detailed Outlet Survey Response Rates v

6 List of Tables Table 2.1: Number of community service outlets (government, non-profit and for-profit) in sampling frame, by community service area, by State and Territory Table 2.2: Outlet survey response rate by community services sector Table 2.3: Number of useable worker responses received, by sector, Table 3.1a: Estimated employment in the child protection services sector, by State and Territory, Table 3.1b: Estimated EFT employment in the child protection services sector relative to the population per 100,000 persons, by State/Territory and occupation, Table 3.2: Direct service employment in the child protection services sector, by organisation type, Table 3.3: Occupation of child protection workers, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.4: Employment type of child protection employees in the last pay period, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.5: Outlets that used agency, sub-contract or self-employed staff in the last pay period, the child protection services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.6: Number of agency, sub-contract or self-employed staff in the last pay period, the child protection services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.7: Median number of shifts done by agency, sub-contract or self-employed staff in the last pay period, the child protection services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) 28 Table 3.8: Sex of employees in the child protection services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.9: Age of employees in the child protection services sector, by occupation, and in the Australian female workforce (per cent) Table 3.10: Birthplace of employees in the child protection services sector, by occupation, and in the Australian female workforce (per cent) Table 3.11: Hours paid per week in the child protection services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.12: Hours worked in past fortnight in the child protection services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.13: Hours unpaid per week in the child protection services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.14: Tenure with current employer of employees in the child protection services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.15a: Weekly earnings by occupation in the child protection services sector, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.15b: Hourly wage rates by occupation in the child protection services sector, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.16: Number of jobs by occupation in the child protection services sector, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.17: Distribution of child protection services outlets by sector and employment size (number of direct care workers), 2009 (per cent) Table 3.18: Proportion of direct service activity (staff hours) in the child protection services sector, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.19: Principal funding source in the child protection services sector, non-profit outlets, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.20: Funding conditions in the child protection services sector, 2009 (per cent) vi

7 Table 3.21: Use of contract and casual staff in the child protection services sector, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.22: Highest level of education/qualification in the child protection services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.23: Field of highest qualification in the child protection services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.24: Level of qualification most relevant to current job in the child protection services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.25: Field of qualification most relevant to current job in the child protection services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.26: Whether currently studying for any qualification, child protection workers, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.27: Qualification level of current study, child protection workers, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.28: Qualification field of current study, child protection workers, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.29a: Perceived skill match ( I have the skills I need to do my current job ) in child protection services, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.29b: Employers perceptions of proportion of employees that are under-skilled in child protection services, by occupation, 2009 (per cent of outlets) Table 3.30a: Perceived skill utilisation ( I use many of my skills in my current job ) in child protection services, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.30b: Employers perceptions of proportion of employees that are over-skilled in child protection services, by occupation, 2009 (per cent of outlets) Table 3.31: Reasons attracted to work in the child protection services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.32: Organisational commitment ( I would turn down another job that offered quite a bit more pay to stay with this organisation ) in the child protection services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.33: Employee satisfaction with various dimensions of their work in the child protection services sector, by occupation, Table 3.34: Perceived relations between management and employees in the child protection services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.35: Perceived relations between workmates/colleagues in the child protection services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.36: Perceived job autonomy ( I have a lot of freedom to decide how I do my work ) in the child protection services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.37: Perceived task discretion ( I have adequate control over my work tasks ) in the child protection services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.38: Number of equivalent full-time (EFT) vacancies in the child protection services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent of outlets) Table 3.39: How discovered that current job in the child protection services sector was available, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.40: Average number of weeks required to fill most recent vacancy in the child protection services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent of outlets) Table 3.41: Average number of applicants for most recent vacancy in the child protection services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent of outlets) Table 3.42: Employers perceptions of whether recently hired workers have optimal skills for their jobs in the child protection services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent of outlets) vii

8 Table 3.43: Preferred terms of employment in the child protection services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.44: Preferred hours of employment relative to current hours in the child protection services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.45: Preferred hours of employment compared to current, per week, in the child protection services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.46: Whether expect to be with same employer in 12 months in the child protection services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.47: Main reason may leave employer in 12 months in the child protection services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.48: Where expect to be working in 3 years in the child protection services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.49: Occupation before first job in child protection services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.50: Age when took first job in the child protection services sector (in years) by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.51: Length of time working in the child protection services sector (in years) by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.52: Whether worked previously in the child protection services sector before current job, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 3.53: Main reason left previous paid job in the child protection services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.1a: Estimated employment in the juvenile justice services sector, Table 4.1b: Estimated EFT employment in the juvenile justice services sector relative to the population per 100,000 persons, by State/Territory and occupation, Table 4.2: Direct service employment in the juvenile justice services sector, by organisation type, Table 4.3: Occupation of juvenile justice employees, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.4: Employment type of juvenile justice employees in the last pay period, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.5: Outlets that used agency, sub-contract or self-employed staff in the last pay period, the juvenile justice services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.6: Number of agency, sub-contract or self-employed staff in the last pay period, the juvenile justice services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.7: Median number of shifts done by agency, sub-contract or self-employed staff in the last pay period, the juvenile justice services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent).. 72 Table 4.8: Sex of employees in the juvenile justice services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.9: Age of employees in the juvenile justice services sector, by occupation, and in the Australian workforce (per cent) Table 4.10: Birthplace of employees in the juvenile justice services sector, by occupation, and in the Australian workforce (per cent) Table 4.11: Hours paid per week in the juvenile justice services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.12: Hours worked in past fortnight in the juvenile justice services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.13: Hours unpaid per week in the juvenile justice services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.14: Tenure with current employer of employees in the juvenile justice services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) viii

9 Table 4.15a: Weekly earnings by occupation in the juvenile justice services sector, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.15b: Hourly wage rates by occupation in the juvenile justice services sector, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.16: Number of jobs by occupation in the juvenile justice services sector, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.17: Distribution of juvenile justice services outlets by sector and employment size (number of direct care workers), 2009 (per cent) Table 4.18: Proportion of direct service activity (staff hours) in the juvenile justice services sector, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.19: Principal funding source in the juvenile justice services sector, Table 4.20: Funding conditions in the juvenile justice services sector, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.21: Use of contract and casual staff in the juvenile justice services sector, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.22: Highest level of education/qualification in the juvenile justice services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.23: Field of highest qualification in the juvenile justice services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.24: Level of qualification most relevant to current job in the juvenile justice services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.25: Field of qualification most relevant to current job in the juvenile justice services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.26: Whether currently studying for any qualification, juvenile justice workers, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.27: Qualification level of current study, juvenile justice workers, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.28: Qualification field of current study, juvenile justice workers, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.29a: Perceived skill match ( I have the skills I need to do my current job ) in juvenile justice services, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.29b: Employers perceptions of proportion of employees that are under-skilled in juvenile justice services, by occupation, 2009 (per cent of outlets) Table 4.30a: Perceived skill utilisation ( I use many of my skills in my current job ) in juvenile justice services, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.30b: Employers perceptions of proportion of employees that are over-skilled in juvenile justice services, by occupation, 2009 (per cent of outlets) Table 4.31: Reasons attracted to work in the juvenile justice services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.32: Organisational commitment ( I would turn down another job that offered quite a bit more pay to stay with this organisation ) in the juvenile justice services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.33: Employee satisfaction with various dimensions of their work in the juvenile justice services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.34: Perceived relations between management and employees in the juvenile justice services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.35: Perceived relations between workmates/colleagues in the juvenile justice services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.36: Perceived job autonomy ( I have a lot of freedom to decide how I do my work ) in the juvenile justice services sector, by occupation (per cent) ix

10 Table 4.37: Perceived task discretion ( I have adequate control over my work tasks ) in the juvenile justice services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.38: Number of equivalent full-time (EFT) vacancies in the juvenile justice services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent of outlets) Table 4.39: How discovered that current job in the juvenile justice services sector was available, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.40: Average number of weeks required to fill most recent vacancy in the juvenile justice services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent of outlets) Table 4.41: Average number of applicants for most recent vacancy in the juvenile justice services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent of outlets) Table 4.42: Employers perceptions of whether recently hired workers have optimal skills for their jobs in the juvenile justice services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent of outlets) Table 4.43: Preferred terms of employment in the juvenile justice services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.44: Preferred hours of employment relative to current hours in the juvenile justice sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.45: Preferred hours of employment compared to current, per week, in the juvenile justice services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.46: Whether expect to be with same employer in 12 months in the juvenile justice services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.47: Main reason may leave employer in 12 months in the juvenile justice services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.48: Where expect to be working in 3 years in the juvenile justice services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.49: Occupation before first job in juvenile justice services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.50: Age when took first job in the juvenile justice services sector (in years) by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.51: Length of time working in the juvenile justice services sector (in years) by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.52: Whether worked previously in the juvenile justice services sector before current job, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 4.53: Main reason left previous paid job in the juvenile justice services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.1a: Estimated employment in the disability services sector, Table 5.1b: Estimated EFT employment in the disability services sector relative to the population per 100,000 persons, by State/Territory and occupation, Table 5.2: Direct service employment in the disability services sector, by organisation type, Table 5.3: Occupation of disability services employees, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.4: Employment type of disability service sector employees in the last pay period, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.5: Outlets that used agency, sub-contract or self-employed staff in the last pay period, the disability services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.6: Number of agency, sub-contract or self-employed staff in the last pay period, the disability services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.7: Median number of shifts done by agency, sub-contract or self-employed staff in the last pay period, the disability services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) x

11 Table 5.8: Sex of employees in the disability services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.9: Age of employees in the disability services sector, by occupation, and in the Australian female workforce (per cent) Table 5.10: Birthplace of employees in the disability services sector, by occupation, and in the Australian female workforce (per cent) Table 5.11: Hours paid per week in the disability services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.12: Hours worked in past fortnight in the disability services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.13: Hours unpaid per week in the disability services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.14: Tenure with current employer of disability services sector employees, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.15a: Weekly earnings by occupation in the disability services sector, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.15b: Hourly wage rates by occupation in the disability services sector, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.16: Number of jobs by occupation in the disability services sector, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.17: Distribution of disability services outlets by sector and employment size (number of direct care workers), 2009 (per cent) Table 5.18: Proportion of direct service activity (staff hours) in the disability services sector, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.19: Principal funding source in the disability services sector, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.20: Funding conditions in the disability services sector, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.21: Use of contract and casual staff in the disability services sector, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.22: Highest level of education/qualification in the disability services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.23: Field of highest qualification in the disability services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.24: Level of qualification most relevant to current job in the disability services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.25: Field of qualification most relevant to current job in the disability services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.26: Whether currently studying for any qualification, disability workers, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.27: Qualification level of current study, disability workers, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.28: Qualification field of current study, disability workers, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.29a: Perceived skill match ( I have the skills I need to do my current job ) in the disability services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.29b: Employers perceptions of proportion of employees that are under-skilled in the disability services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent of outlets) Table 5.30a: Perceived skill utilisation ( I use many of my skills in my current job ) in the disability services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.30b: Employers perceptions of proportion of employees that are over-skilled in the disability services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent of outlets) xi

12 Table 5.31: Reasons attracted to work in the disability services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.32: Organisational commitment ( I would turn down another job that offered quite a bit more pay to stay with this organisation ) in the disability services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.33: Employee satisfaction with various dimensions of their work in the disability services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.34: Perceived relations between management and employees in the disability services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.35: Perceived relations between workmates/colleagues in the disability services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.36: Perceived job autonomy ( I have a lot of freedom to decide how I do my work ) in the disability services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.37: Perceived task discretion ( I have adequate control over my work tasks ) in the disability services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.38: Number of equivalent full-time (EFT) vacancies in the disability services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent of outlets) Table 5.39: How discovered that current job in the disability services sector was available, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.40: Average number of weeks required to fill most recent vacancy in the disability services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent of outlets) Table 5.41: Average number of applicants for most recent vacancy in the disability services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent of outlets) Table 5.42: Employers perceptions of whether recently-hired workers have optimal skills for their jobs in the disability services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent of outlets) 143 Table 5.43: Preferred terms of employment in the disability services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.44: Preferred hours of employment relative to current hours in the disability sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.45: Preferred hours of employment compared to current, per week, in the disability services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.46: Whether expect to be with same employer in 12 months in the disability services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.47: Main reason may leave employer in 12 months in the disability services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.48: Where expect to be working in 3 years in the disability services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.49: Occupation before first job in disability services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.50: Age when took first job in the disability services sector (in years) by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.51: Length of time working in the disability services sector (in years) by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.52: Whether worked previously in the disability services sector before current job, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 5.53: Main reason left previous paid job in the disability services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.1a: Estimated employment in the general community services sector, Table 6.1b: Estimated EFT employment in the general community services sector relative to the population per 100,000 persons, by State/Territory and occupation, xii

13 Table 6.2: Direct service employment in the general community services sector, by organisation type, Table 6.3: Occupation of general community services employees, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.4: Employment type of general community services sector employees, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.5: Outlets that used agency, sub-contract or self-employed staff in the last pay period, the general community services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.6: Number of agency, sub-contract or self-employed staff in the last pay period, the general community services sector, by occupation, Table 6.7: Median number of shifts done by agency, sub-contract or self-employed staff in the last pay period, the general community services sector, by occupation, Table 6.8: Sex of employees in the general community services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.9: Age of employees in the general community services sector, by occupation, and in the Australian female workforce (per cent) Table 6.10: Birthplace of employees in the general community services sector, by occupation, and in the Australian female workforce (per cent) Table 6.11: Hours paid per week in the general community services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.12: Hours worked in past fortnight in the general community services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.13: Hours unpaid per week in the general community services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.14: Tenure with current employer of employees in the general community services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.15a: Weekly earnings by occupation in the general community services sector, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.15b: Hourly wage rates by occupation in the general community services sector, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.16: Number of jobs by occupation in the general community services sector, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.17: Distribution of general community services outlets by sector and employment size (number of direct care workers), 2009 (per cent) Table 6.18: Proportion of direct service activity (staff hours) in the general community services sector, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.19: Principal funding source in the general community services sector, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.20: Funding conditions in the general community services sector, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.21: Use of contract and casual staff in the general community services sector, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.22: Highest level of education/qualification in the general community services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.23: Field of highest qualification in the general community services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.24: Level of qualification most relevant to current job in the general community services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.25: Field of qualification most relevant to current job in the general community services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) xiii

14 Table 6.26: Whether currently studying for any qualification, general community service workers, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.27: Qualification level of current study, general community service workers, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.28: Qualification field of current study, general community service workers, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.29a: Perceived skill match ( I have the skills I need to do my current job ) in general community services, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.29b: Employers perceptions of proportion of employees that are under-skilled in general community services, by occupation, 2009 (per cent of outlets) Table 6.30a: Perceived skill utilisation ( I use many of my skills in my current job ) in general community services, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.30b: Employers perceptions of proportion of employees that are over-skilled in general community services, by occupation, 2009 (per cent of outlets) Table 6.31: Reasons attracted to work in the general community services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.32: Organisational commitment ( I would turn down another job that offered quite a bit more pay to stay with this organisation ) in the general community services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.33: Employee satisfaction with various dimensions of their work in the general community services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.34: Perceived relations between management and employees in the general community sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.35: Perceived relations between workmates/colleagues in the general community services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.36: Perceived job autonomy ( I have a lot of freedom to decide how I do my work ) in the general community services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.37: Perceived task discretion ( I have adequate control over my work tasks ) in the general community services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.38: Number of equivalent full-time (EFT) vacancies in the general community services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent of outlets) Table 6.39: How discovered that current job in the general community services sector was available, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.40: Average number of weeks required to fill most recent vacancy in the general community services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent of outlets) Table 6.41: Average number of applicants for most recent vacancy in the general community services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent of outlets) Table 6.42: Employers perceptions of whether recently hired workers have optimal skills for their jobs in the general community services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent of outlets) Table 6.43: Preferred terms of employment in the general community services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.44: Preferred hours of employment relative to current hours in the general community services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.45: Preferred hours of employment compared to current, per week, in the general community services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.46: Whether expect to be with same employer in 12 months in the general community services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.47: Main reason may leave employer in 12 months in the general community services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) xiv

15 Table 6.48: Where expect to be working in 3 years in the general community services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.49: Occupation before first job in general community services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.50: Age when took first job in the general community services sector (in years) by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.51: Length of time working in the general community services sector (in years) by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.52: Whether worked previously in the general community services sector before current job, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 6.53: Main reason left previous paid job in the general community services sector, by occupation, 2009 (per cent) Table 7.1: Overview of employment and workplaces in community services Table 7.2: Key employment patterns in child protection, juvenile justice, disability services and general community services, Table 7.3: Key workforce demographics in child protection, juvenile justice, disability services and general community services, Table 7.4: Key indicators of workforce dynamics in child protection, juvenile justice, disability services and general community services, xv

16 Acknowledgements The authors wish to thank the Structural Issues in the Workforce (SIW) Sub-Committee of the Community and Disability Services Ministers Advisory Council (CDSMAC) for their generous support and encouragement in the research that forms the basis for this report. The SIW Sub-Committee included representatives from each State and Territory. Their active assistance in various phases of the data collection for the project was invaluable, and their considered responses to earlier drafts greatly improved the final report. Generous advice and feedback on early drafts of the report was provided by all members of the SIW Sub- Committee, including representatives of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), the CDSMAC National Community Services Information Management Group (NCSIMG). The lead agency in this project was the Queensland Department of Community Services (formerly the Department of Child Safety). Through this Department, Mr Brad Swan and Ms Anne Crowley, chair and secretary of the SIW Sub-Committee respectively, and Ms Ashleigh Gibson, the Project Manager for this research during most of its life, provided expert support and assistance in a myriad of ways. Their commitment and guidance made the project possible. The authors wish to acknowledge the generous contributions of their colleagues at the National Institute of Labour Studies, Flinders University and at the Institute for Social Science Research, University of Queensland to the planning and execution of this project. We thank them for their efforts in helping to construct the questionnaires and sample frames, analyse the data, and prepare the final report. This report uses unit record data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey. The HILDA Project was initiated and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) and is managed by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research (Melbourne Institute). The findings and views reported here, however, are those of the authors and should not be attributed to either FaHCSIA or the Melbourne Institute. xvi

17 Executive Summary The community services industry is a large and important one in Australia. In 2009, about 490,000 Australians worked in residential care services and social assistance services, the major components of what is usually regarded as the community services sector (ABS 2009a). Community services organisations provide services to Australians who require assistance with a broad range of aspects of everyday life. The single largest client group is older Australians, and aged care is the single largest employer of community service workers. However, there are a range of other sectors in the community services industry, including children s services, child protection, juvenile justice, disability services and more general family support and other community services. Despite the importance of community services, our knowledge of the workforces in these various sectors has been limited. This report presents a profile of the Australian workforce in four important sectors of the community services industry for which detailed data has previously been unavailable. These sectors are: Child protection; Juvenile justice; Disability services; General community services. The profiles are based on new representative sample surveys of community service outlets in these four sectors, and of workers in each sector. A total of 1,040 community service outlets and 3,789 workers across the four community service sectors responded to the surveys in late The overall survey response rate was 51 per cent for community service outlets and about 30 per cent for workers. These surveys provide a sound basis for generating a detailed profile of the workforces in these four sectors. Child Protection We estimate that about 13,000 people were employed in Australia to directly provide child protection services or to manage the work of those who directly provided such services in Of these, about 11,300 provided child protection services while the remainder managed their work. Taking account of part-time employment (defined as less than 35 hours per week), this workforce was equivalent to about 10,000 full-time workers (8,500 of whom would be direct providers of child protection services). Professional workers made up about 56 per cent of child protection workers and about 64 per cent of equivalent full-time (EFT) workers, assuming a full-time working week of 35 hours or more. The professional workforce included child protection investigation officers, social workers, case managers, and psychologists. About 31 per cent of child protection workers (21 per cent of EFT workers) were non-professional service providers, including direct care workers and family, youth or child support workers. The remaining 15 per cent of child protection workers were service managers, coordinators or. Major features of this workforce were: 1

18 Terms of employment Permanent full-time employment was dominant in child protection. The vast majority of professionals (80 per cent) and managers/ (85 per cent) were employed on this basis. Fewer non-professional service providers were employed this way (39 per cent), with many being either permanent part-time (29 per cent) or casual (28 per cent) workers. There were virtually no casual employees amongst professionals or managers/. Very little use was made of temporary employment (agency, sub-contract and selfemployed staff) in child protection. Overall, only 8 per cent of child protection outlets used any such staff. Just under 60 per cent of child protection workers were employed by government agencies (69 per cent of EFT workers), with virtually all of the remainder working for non-profits. Demographics Just under 80 per cent of all child protection workers were women. This included 83 per cent of professionals, 70 per cent of non-professional direct service providers, and 80 per cent of managers/. The child protection workforce was relatively young, with one quarter being under 30 and 58 per cent being under 40 (compared to 29 per cent and 50 per cent respectively of the Australian female labour force). Child protection workers were predominantly (79 per cent) Australian born, though more were Indigenous Australians (9 per cent) than in the general population. Skills and Qualifications Child protection workers generally had qualifications that were appropriate to their jobs in both level and field. Thus, 81 per cent of professionals and 67 per cent of managers/ held at least a Bachelor degree, and 77 per cent of nonprofessionals had at least a Certificate 3 qualification. Qualifications were generally in areas such as social work, psychology or counselling, community work, or youth work. Around one quarter of child protection workers were studying for a qualification, with the proportion in study being highest amongst non-professionals (37 per cent). Almost universally, child protection workers believed they had the skill they needed to do their jobs. Employers were more circumspect, with about one third believing that at least some of their workers did not have the skills they need. However, most employers reporting some skill deficiencies said that less than half of their employees were missing important skills. The Work Experience Child protection workers commonly cited the desire to help others or to do something worthwhile as reasons for entering the sector. They expressed quite high 2

19 levels of organisational commitment, with about one third saying they would turn down a better paid job to remain in their current organisation. Child protection workers were generally satisfied with most aspects of their jobs, with job satisfaction levels a little below the national averages implied by estimates from the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey. However, they were much less satisfied with their pay than with other aspects of their jobs, unlike Australians generally. Child protection workers held very positive assessments of the quality of workplace relationships, both between management and employees and amongst workmates. Employment Preferences Child protection workers had an overwhelming preference for employment on permanent contracts (96 per cent preferred this), rather than fixed term or casual arrangements. Most (62 per cent) child protection workers were happy with their current hours of work. However, one third would prefer to work shorter hours, and only 5 per cent would prefer more hours of work. Thus, there was little spare labour capacity in the currently employed child protection workforce. Career pathways Child protection workers entered the sector from a range of previous occupations, with over 40 per cent coming from welfare or carer roles in other sectors. Child protection workers often entered the sector early in their careers (half of professionals entered before they turned 30). However, most did not appear to remain long. Child protection outlets estimated that 27 per cent of their child protection workers had been in their jobs for 1 year or less, and 72 per cent had held their positions for less than 5 years. Indeed, 52 per cent of surveyed workers said that they had worked in the sector for less than 5 years. Nevertheless, two thirds of child protection workers said they expected to be working for their current employer in 12 months, and 60 per cent said they expected still to be working in child protection 3 years after they were surveyed. Hiring child protection workers Overall, child protection workers were about equally likely to have heard about their jobs through formal advertising as through informal methods (family and friendship networks or simply approaching employers). Just over half of child protection outlets had no vacancies at the time of the survey. Vacancies for professionals were much more common than those for other workers (one third of outlets had such vacancies). Most recent vacancies were filled within two months. However, one third of outlets said their most recent professional vacancy had taken longer than this to fill. 3

20 Child protection outlets quite often employed workers without optimal skills, with 39 per cent saying that their most recent professional appointee did not have optimal skills. However, very few outlets (4 per cent) had recently employed professionals who lacked essential job skills. Some 12 per cent had employed non-professional direct child protection workers without essential skills, suggesting a willingness to train these workers. Juvenile Justice We estimate that about 3,400 people were employed in Australia to directly provide juvenile justice services or to manage the work of those who did directly provide such services in Of these, about 2,800 provided juvenile justice services while the remainder managed their work. Taking account of part-time employment (defined as less than 35 hours per week), this workforce was equivalent to about 3,000 full-time workers (2,400 of whom would be direct providers of juvenile justice services). Professional workers made up about 44 per cent of juvenile justice workers and about 49 per cent of equivalent full-time (EFT) workers, assuming a full-time working week of 35 hours or more. The professional workforce included juvenile justice officers, social workers, case managers, and psychologists. About 38 per cent of juvenile justice workers (32 per cent of EFT workers) were non-professional service providers, including residential care workers and youth workers. The remaining 17 per cent of juvenile justice workers were service managers, coordinators or. Major features of this workforce were: Terms of employment Permanent full-time employment was dominant in juvenile justice. The vast majority of professionals (78 per cent) and managers/ (86 per cent) were employed on this basis, as were most non-professionals (64 per cent) directly providing juvenile justice services. Casual employment was most common amongst non-professionals (20 per cent). There were virtually no casual employees amongst professionals or managers/. Limited use was made of temporary employment (agency, sub-contract and selfemployed staff) in juvenile justice. Overall, only 15 per cent of juvenile justice outlets used any such staff. About 83 per cent of juvenile justice workers were employed by government agencies (84 per cent of EFT workers), with all of the remainder working for non-profits. Demographics Just 55 per cent of all juvenile justice workers were women. This included 59 per cent of professionals, 48 per cent of non-professional direct service providers, and 57 per cent of managers/. 4

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